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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Silver Jewelry

See our: Silver jewelry.

A metallic element that is medium heavy, ductile, and malleable. It is usually used in an alloy with copper to increase its hardness. It has a melting-point of 961° C. (1762° F.) It takes a high degree of polish, but tarnishes by contact with sulphurous fumes in the air. For use in jewelry it can be beaten, chiselled, rolled, and cast. Silver was not used in ancient times as much as gold for jewelry, being mainly made into tableware and Church plate, but in the mid-19th century silver jewelry became popular in England for a short period until superseded by platinum.

It was later used for art nouveau jewelry and more recently for medium-priced costume jewelry, often hand-made and sometimes set with inexpensive gemstones. Silver is sometimes treated or plated to make it more durable or less susceptible to tarnish.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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